Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng said the activities of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Cambodia over the past decade demonstrate its commitment and long-term partnership with the Kingdom. The SDC is an important donor that has assisted Cambodia’s economic development, he said.
Samheng made the remarks on May 27 on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the SDC office in Cambodia and the launch of the Swiss Mekong Region Cooperation Programme 2022-2025 in Phnom Penh.
He also thanked Switzerland and the Swiss people for their generous support for Cambodia in all sectors, including employment and vocational training.
“The SDC is an important donor that has assisted Cambodia on various projects in economic development, governance, climate change and natural resource management,” Samheng said.
He added that the ministry had received the support of the SDC on several projects – through technical and financial support – including the Skills Development Programme of the Decent Employment for Youth programme in Cambodia Phases I and II, and the development of the National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system online Phases I and II.
“The SDC has been working with several partners to support Cambodia by alleviating poverty and though sustainable development, and has integrated its four-year strategy in line with Cambodia’s priority strategic plans and in response to the needs of the Cambodian people,” he said.
Samheng also said the government assigned the highest priority to the development of TVET of all its national policy frameworks. The government had invested heavily in this area to keep pace with its ambitions of socio-economic development. Rapid technological change in the job market – as well as people’s expectations of having good jobs and a higher standard of living – meant that TVET is crucial.
Helene Budliger Artieda, the Swiss ambassador with residence in Thailand – commented on the SDC’s long-standing partnership with the Cambodian government, saying: “We are here to contribute to the future of this beautiful country and the young and old. Switzerland is also working in a regional context to strengthen regional mechanisms and institutions such as ASEAN.”
The labour ministry quoted her as saying that this year, Cambodia has a major responsibility as chair of ASEAN, and will play a key role in addressing some of the challenges in the region. Switzerland looks forward to working with Cambodia as a sectoral dialogue partner with ASEAN, she said.
At a May 27 meeting with Cambodian foreign ministry secretary of state Kung Phoak, she discussed Cambodia’s ASEAN chairmanship, ASEAN-Swiss partnership, humanitarian assistance to Myanmar and other regional issues.
“We look forward to strengthening our relations within the framework of ASEAN,” she said after the meeting.